-but could rise again with December-January rains
PRICES for vegetables have dropped significantly following the unprecedented floods in May-June, due largely to inclement weather and government’s cash grants to affected farmers, but prices could go up again with the upcoming rainy season.
In the aftermath of the floods, the government allocated $7.8B to small and large-scale farmers to get them back to the land.
During an afternoon walk through the Bourda Market over the last few days, the Guyana Chronicle observed that vegetables were being sold at reasonable prices, with packets of carrots being sold at a measly $160 each, and sizeable bundles of bora going for as cheap as $200.
The drop in prices, according to one vendor named ‘Esther,’ is a result of the ‘decent’ weather.
“When is rainy season, you got to expect them thing to go up because, remember, the rain and the mud, and people gon’ can’t get to plant back. So, during the rainy days, prices gon’ raise. But right now, everything cheap, cheap,” she said.
‘Esther’ further noted that consumers should not be alarmed, and must understand that farmers and vendors depend on good weather patterns to produce.
“If rain fall for a two, three day, the price gon’ stay normal; and if it fall constant, like a week and suh, and we get flooding, prices gon’ raise, because no one gone get to plant back, and some ‘greens’ might be scarce,” she explained.
The Guyana Chronicle also caught up with ‘Auntie Anette’ who shared that during the rainy season, it is not unusual for the prices of vegetables to go up, as due to heavy rainfall and flooding around the rainy seasons, vendors experience some hardships.
Meanwhile, another vendor who opted to remain anonymous said that during the rainy season, vendors at markets across the city experience many inconveniences that help contribute to the spike in prices.
He explained that, for example, in some parts of Bourda Market, there is extensive flooding. This, he said, coupled with the everyday struggle with improper garbage disposal makes it almost impossible to ply their trade.
In anticipation of heavy rainfall and floods during the December-January rainy season, the Ministry of Agriculture will be spearheading a number of emergency works to mitigate the effects.
Subject Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, in a previous interview disclosed that additional pumps have already been installed at critical areas in the capital city, Georgetown, to ensure sufficient drainage in vulnerable areas.
Meanwhile, in the farming communities across the country, additional works will be done to complement what was done during the recent May/June floods.
In a report shared by the minister, it was revealed that the highest amount of rainfall can be expected in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and the northern parts of Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) for the period December 2021 to January 2022.
The report also stated that there is a high chance of wetter-than-usual conditions across all the regions. Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and the southern parts of Regions Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Eight and 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) are likely to experience the least amount of rainfall during this period. However, as the season progresses, water levels in conservancies, reservoirs and inland rivers in Region One, and the northern parts of Regions Six, Seven, and 10 are expected to reach maximum capacity.